Fire was discovered by night watch Bloyd at 10 o’clock Tuesday night in the Hub Clothing store. Alarm was turned in and the fire company responded promptly and got to work but there was so much smoke that they worked for over an hour before they discovered where the blaze was raging. They first turned the water in the basement where it was supposed the blaze was, but not making any headway they went into the main room of the store and flooded the entire building and finally succeeded in putting out the blaze.
The entire stock, valued at about $20,000 is almost a total loss but is partly covered by insurance.
No one knows how the fire started. Wednesday morning Mr. Voiles and Mr. Webb took us through the building where we saw the floor was burned through on the east side of the room and it seemed that the fire must have started from the top and burn down, but it is also possible that is started in the basement, but all the woodwork seems to be burned most at the top indicating that the blaze worked from the main floor of the room. Where the floor is burned through the entire section of the clothing hangers is destroyed but the top of the section was not burned but only badly scorched. The top of this section had shoes on it and these are all destroyed by water and smoke. The east side is more damaged by water than the west side because after the blaze was discovered the water was turned in that direction. The store is awaiting insurance adjusters.
This is the biggest loss by fire Lincoln suffered in some years and had it not been for efficient fire protection the entire block would have been destroyed, but as it is the loss was confined to this one building with only a small damage by smoke in the adjoining rooms that of Snyder’s drug store on the west of it and Knoch bakery on the east.
Mr. Voiles told us Wednesday morning that he has no idea how the fire started as when they left the store at 6 o’clock everything was in perfect condition and the blaze was several feet from the store, showing that it did not have its origin from this source. In the basement is a furnace flue, but this was cemented several years ago as the building was heated by stoves and the furnace flue has never been in use, so it is hardly probably that the fire had its origin from this source. No doubt the origin of the fire will remain a mystery forever.